There will be no — second — final clash between Neo and Agent Smith in the upcoming The Matrix 4. Actually, there will be no Agent Smith at all (probably; recasting in The Matrix is not unprecedented) since Hugo Weaving is not reprising his iconic role. In a recent interview with Time Out, the actor revealed that scheduling difficulties are preventing his return, as he’s committed to a National Theatre production of The Visit.
“It’s unfortunate but actually I had this offer [for The Visit] and then the offer came from The Matrix, so I knew it was happening but I didn’t have dates,” Weaving said. “I thought [I] could do both and it took eight weeks to work out that the dates would work – I held off on accepting [a role in The Visit during that time]. I was in touch with [director] Lana Wachowski, but in the end she decided that the dates weren’t going to work.”
Weaving concluded that Lana Wachowski is “pushing on ahead” even without him.
In the same interview, Weaving also revealed why he didn’t return as the Red Skull in the Avengers franchise. Long story short: money.
“We were all obliged to sign up for three pictures,” the actor said. “I was thinking [Red Skull] probably wouldn’t come back in Captain America but he may well come back as a villain in The Avengers. By then, they’d pushed back on the contracts that we agreed on and so the money they offered me for The Avengers was much less than I got for the very first one, and this was for two films. And the promise when we first signed the contracts was that the money would grow each time.”
Weaving then added that he found “impossible” to negotiate with Marvel Studios through his agent. He would have reprised his role gladly, though, since he loved playing the Red Skull. Ultimately, The Walking Dead‘s Ross Marquand impersonated Weaving in the role.
The Matrix 4 will hit theaters on May 21, 2021. Would you have liked to see Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith in the new Matrix? Let us know in the comments section below.